How to Use Blog Commenting to Build Backlinks and Traffic

Blog commenting is simple enough: fill in your details leave a comment and you’re done. But what if you want to use your comments as a way to help build backlinks and drive traffic to your website?

The following article will help you with exactly that; this is how you can build backlinks and traffic through blog commenting.

Method 1: CommentLuv blogs

First in this list is to comment on blogs with CommentLuv enabled.

CommentLuv is a Wordpress plug-in that allows a commenter to automatically leave a recent blog post of their own within the comment area. After you’ve placed your information, CommentLuv will scan your blog and display between 5 – 10 recent blog posts to leave. Adding a comment on CommentLuv enabled blogs can help you build a backlink and has a potential for traffic as other readers can click through and visit your comment.

Method 2: DoFollow blogs

For many years, blog used the NoFollow tag within their comments so link-juice wouldn’t be passed to the commenter’s blog. Now, helpful plugins and Wordpress tweaks have given blog owners the choice in DoFollow vs. NoFollow. On a DoFollow blog, simply leave a comment as you normally would and you’ll be awarded with a powerful backlink.

Method 3: Leave a very helpful comment

Hands down, the best way to drive traffic to your own website or blog is to leave a very, very helpful comment. Instead of just saying “nice post!” takes the time to read through and dig into the information, telling your own, asking questions or even disagreeing (but backing your own comment with facts). Those that find your comment helpful will want to know more that you have to offer, click through and visit your site.

Method 4: Reply to other comments

A sneaky (no-brainer) trick to building backlinks and traffic is to just reply to other comments. More often than not, only the blog owner will respond to other commenter’s – now you will be. By commenting on other comments, you’ll not only increase the total amount you have on the post but also build the potential for the other commenter to visit your site or build backlinks.

Method 5: Go for top commenter’s

Finally, a helpful Wordpress plugin that gives you the opportunity to build massive backlinks and traffic is the Top Commenter’s plugin. The Top Commenter’s plugin will display those that have commented on the blog the most. By being in the list, more-often-than-not, your link will be on every page of the blog and have a greater potential for clicks and traffic.

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Ebay: A Great Place to Sell Yard Sale Treasures

Are you thinking that you would like to cash in on the millions of dollars that are changing hands on Ebay? But maybe you’re not sure what you should sell. Well then, let me tell you that yard sales may be a great resource.

Finding items to Sell on Ebay

I have had some good luck finding items to sell on Ebay. You’ll have to keep a few things in mind to help you succeed.

  • Buyers on Ebay are looking for good deals or bargains
  • You’ll have to pay listing and selling fees to Ebay
  • You’ll need a digital camera
  • Negotiate when purchasing at yard sales
  • Do some research before purchasing if possible

What to Look For

I have found for myself that furniture and antiques that have had the best results on Ebay. That may only be what I gravitate toward. If you have something that you are an expert in, like a certain collectible, look for things of that nature. I am not an expert about furniture or antiques by any means. But I have found that charming or unique things tend to sell.

Don’t Expect Huge Profits

Look for items that will make you at least $25-30 when you list them for sale on Ebay. You may find something that sells for big money here and there, but the bulk of the items you find probably won’t be of that caliber.

I have found that furniture items which can be sold for under $100 or, even better, for under $50 will get the most attention.

Negotiating Your Purchase

When you have found some items to buy at a yard sale, don’t be afraid to negotiate with the seller. I often cut the tag price in half and see if my offer is accepted. You never know and you can always increase your offer. Remember, people who are holding garage sales are looking to get rid of their things and make a few dollars. Don’t be intimidated by the thought of negotiating. The worst that can happen is that the answer will be no.

Make a Package Deal

If you are lucky enough to find several things that you think you can sell on Ebay at one garage sale, offer to make a package deal. Chances are that you will get an even bigger bargain this way. The owner will be glad to have sold several things at once and will like hearing the large number that you are offering. The breakdown per item may have less relevance.

Bring Cash and Go Early or Late

Make sure that if you go to some yard sales that you are ready to purchase. You may have someone who is on the fence about taking your offer, but if you have the cash in front of them, they may be persuaded.

Try to get to yard sales early. Often the best things are gone right away. Antique dealers often do the same thing to try to find items to sell in their stores and they hit the pavement early.

Another great option is to go at the end of the sale. If there are items which haven’t sold and the garage sale is almost over, the owner will be much more motivated to make a deal with you. This is a great way to make a package deal. Offer to take several items off the owner’s hands at a low price. You can always negotiate up.

Look for Unusual Items

yard-salesYou may try to find unusual items at yard sales. However, don’t buy things that are so way out that no one will bid in them when you list them on Ebay. Look for things that are unique. When I first started looking for Ebay treasures at yard sales, I though silver tea sets would make a killing. What I found, however, was that there were many, many silver tea sets listed on Ebay and so they don’t really sell for much money.

As I mentioned, I have had great luck with older and charming furniture. I found a heavily carved sideboard which was not necessarily my taste. But I was pretty sure that its carving would make it attractive to an Ebay buyer. It was tagged at $250, already reduced from $350. I offered $100 and my offer was accepted. I listed it on Ebay at close to $200 with no results. The listing expired. So, since I really wanted to sell it, I relisted it at $150. I would be up getting several bids and it sold for $305. Wow.

To Ship or Not to Ship

You may or may not want to offer shipping on your items for sale. In the case of the above mentioned sideboard, I listed it as local pickup only. Turned out a woman who lived in California bought it and arranged the shipping herself.

If your items are small and easily packaged, you should probably offer shipping. The expense will be that of your buyer and you can include a small handling fee to cover your packaging expenses.

If you are selling large furniture items, you don’t have to offer shipping. However, you may want to put a line in your Ebay listing which says something like: Buyer is free to arrange for packing, shipping and insurance at his or her own expense.

Include Pictures in the Listing

Make sure that you take some pictures of the items that you will be listing on Ebay. A digital camera makes it very easy. Photos will get your items noticed by buyers and should help you sell your garage sale items.

Be Honest When Listing Items for Sale on Ebay

This is quite important. You’ll want to get positive feedback from your buyers. This way, future buyers will feel secure about purchasing from you. If there are imperfections on your garage sale items, make sure that you state them clearly. You can also offer to email more pictures to a buyer if requested.

Do Some Research

Before you go out and spend money on items to sell on Ebay, spend some time on the site. Get a feel for items that are selling. You may want you first few yard sale purchases to be items that you can use. This way, if they don’t sell, you are not stuck with something you hate.

Once you have made a purchase and you are ready to list an item for sale on Ebay, check around. The item might just be worth more than you think. Check similar items that are listed for sale on Ebay and see if they are getting bids. You can also do a Google search and see if you can find out anything else about your item. Look for markings, labels or stamps on the item itself. These markings may tell you about the item, when it was made and about its value.

It will take some time and effort to find items to sell on Ebay at garage or yard sales. However, if you do a little research and buy wisely, you may just find yourself making a few extra dollars.

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Organic Search Engine Optimization: The Basics

Organic SEO is a term thrown around by many online professionals and writers that may sound odd but in the simplest of explanations: organic SEO is naturally crafting your content, obtaining rankings and building an SEO-friendly website.

Because search engines are such a high driving factor in website traffic, organic search results are what many website owners aim for; the higher your website ranks for its keywords – the higher amount of traffic you’ll receive.

So what are the basics of organic SEO and how can you obtain high ranking results through its implementation? A colleague who has been an entrepreneur and into Atlanta SEO for years has given me these basic points about SEO:

#1: Keyword rich titles

One of the basics (and fundamental) “rule” of organic SEO is the proper creation of your title tag.

Your title tag is the first thing people see when searching for content within search engines. In order to rank high within these search results you must craft your title to include the main keywords related to each page of content.

#2: Keyword (and interesting) descriptions

Secondly, organic SEO doesn’t just need to be high rankings it needs to also increase your click through. A website with the number one ranking in search engines that doesn’t have an attractive description will often receive less traffic than lower ranked pages with better ones.

Create your description to tell what the reader can expect if they click through, include power words to peak their interest and be sure to use your keywords to rank well within organic SEO.

#3: Great content

online-marketingA fundamental property of organic SEO is creating great content. Great content goes beyond touching on a simple idea – it digs deep and becomes a reference point for all those that have read it.

You will want to use your keywords throughout your content but always craft your content in a manner that people will enjoy reading and want to share. Create content that people don’t expect, wow them and give them a reason to tell their friends.

#4: Natural link building

Finally, as part of your organic SEO results you’ll want to build links naturally. Backlinks will help you rank higher within search engines as they indicate to search engine algorithms others love your content (by linking to it).

The easiest way, again, is to create great content but be sure to network with other influential website owners and even go to the extent to ask for a link back to your content.

Natural backlinks will take some time but if you have patience and wait for them to roll in while building up your website you won’t harm your rankings with deceptive link building; you’ll become a master of organic SEO.

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Key Elements to the Marketing Plan: Setting and Allocating the Budget

In order to create a comprehensive marketing plan, you need to incorporate certain key elements. Once you have determined your goals and objectives, you then develop strategies to achieve them. Having done this, you can assign responsibility and set time lines for tasks to be completed. The next step of the process is setting and allocating a budget.This allows you to align your financial resources with your overall plan.

There are several ways to determine an appropriate budget that provides a cost effective way to market your business. One way is to allocate a certain percent of your sales towards your media and promotional plan. This method allows for increased spending as your overall sales volume grows. As long as there is profitable sales growth, this approach makes sense. Another way is to institute a “cents per unit sold” budget. For example, if you sell 100,000 boxes of product, and you allocate .10 per box, you would have a $10,000 marketing budget. If you have a set margin per unit, this is a good approach to use. For smaller companies another way to determine a budget is to use a monthly figure based on available cash flow. This will give you better control of your spending, however you must still allocate enough money to support the marketing effort. Whatever method you use to set the budget, it is important that you allocate a realistic amount that enables proper execution of the plan’s strategies.

Once you have a total budget, you need to determine how much is going to be spent on media (i.e. print, radio, direct mail) and how much on promotion (i.e. samplings, special events, customer entertainment). This will largely depend on the particular business you are in. The main idea is to develop a mix that allows you to allocate resources for the activities that will be most effective in growing your sales. Understanding your product and the marketplace you compete in will make this process easier to implement.

An important part of the budget process, is to build in ways to maximize the money spent. If you are buying radio, negotiate additional promotional value that ties your product or service into their on-air activities. Form “trade for mention” opportunities with all your media partners. Develop cross promotional programs with complimentary products and services. There are numerous ways to leverage the money you currently spend. By doing this on a consistent basis you will stretch your marketing dollars.

Setting and properly allocating a budget gives you the best chance to utilize the financial resources you have to grow your business. While this process will take some time and effort, it will provide a solid return on your investment.

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Telling the Truth in Your Advertising

Just because your company is working to get the word out about your fabulous products or services in a creative and contagious way, doesn’t mean unsubstantiated claims and dishonest marketing should be part of your advertising efforts. Making claims you cannot support or untrue statements in your marketing will eventually hurt your company in a major way in the long run.

Sometimes, when you are working to be creative, original, and even outrageous in your business’ marketing campaigns, the line between fact and fiction can get a bit blurred. Originality and outrageousness can be really great elements in buzz-worthy and contagiously affective advertising – but make sure you are not making any statements about your product – what it can do, how much it costs, etc. – or your services to the customer that you cannot back up and support. The old adage is true – bad news travels much faster than good news does. And, the negative publicity generated from untruths will kill your customer trust, not to mention your sales may be dead before they ever get off the ground.

campaignIn addition to creating an advertising message that is simple, clear and accessible – you’re also trying to tell customers and potential customers a “story” about your company, your product and/or your services. This “story” needs to be true and accurate. As word spreads and customers talk about your company, information is likely to get distorted naturally (think of the natural course of gossip, or that old child’s game of “telephone.”) If you at least start the flow of information with accurate, truthful claims – you might be able to influence positive chatter. Untrue or unsupported claims in your advertising can really get blown out of proportion through the natural course of word-of-mouth and come back to haunt you.

Before using any marketing or advertising campaign or sending forth a message about your company, products, or services – put it to the truth test. Ask yourself if your company can back up and support every claim you’re making and the product will hold up to the scrutiny of a literal interpretation of the marketing materials. Don’t claim your product will do something it won’t or that your company is offering something that can’t be guaranteed. Keeping your message honest and above board will contribute to building customer trust and loyalty and make your long-term marketing efforts easier.

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Important Tips for a Successful Business

If you have been in business for any length of time, you should have customers buying from you. If you are a businessman or woman, here are the absolute best for ways to make the most of what you have.

#1 – Learn about your customers

Learn as much as you absolutely can. Now I’m not just talking about getting to know their names and addresses, but also having an understanding of what it is that they want. If you are in a retail business for example, you should be able to add a service to the existing business that you have. Adding a new service can generate tons of extra revenue for your business, but this is something you have to creatively think about. Try thinking outside of the box with this one.

#2 – Try Newsletters or mailing list

send-newslettersOnce you’ve gathered information from your clients, you may want to put them on an informational newsletter or mailing list about the new services or products that your business is going to offer. But also keep in mind people don’t just want to hear about how truly great your business is. They want to know exactly how you can help them. They want to know how they will benefit from your business, or from the services that your business is offering. Remember, it’s all about the customer. You may want to throw an occasional jokes, funny phrases, interesting facts and local events. Here’s a tip that I’ve learned: whatever it is that you write about yourself also include things about someone else or something else. Offering variety will stop your customer from dumping the letter in the garbage can.

#3 – Use your customers information to promote the other people’s products or services

This is what we like to call a joint venture. If you’re the one that has the customer list tried to find someone that has a product or service that might tend to your customers needs. This is a great way to make money fast with what you have, but also make sure that you are tracking the results. This is something I would only do with someone that I knew and trusted very much because it is very easy to be taken advantage of in this situation.

#4 – Use other people’s customer lists to promote your product or service

Make sure to give them their share as well. This happens all too often the people rip off others not trying to think about the future. I often give the individual a percentage of the proceeds for many reasons, they will most likely promote with you again in the future, they will recommend you to their friends that may have other huge customer lists, and if you use this leverage you can rest assure that you will gain more customer information and increase your business revenue.

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